Prison Breaks pp 265-290 | Cite as

Chapter 10 Representations of Prison Escapes in Films

  • Jamie Bennett
Part of the Palgrave Studies in Prisons and Penology book series (PSIPP)


Images of prison escapes are part of the iconography of cinema. Call to mind Henri Charrière (Steve McQueen) jumping off a cliff into the Pacific Ocean and clinging to a raft made of coconuts in Papillon (1973), Andy Dufresne (Tim Robbins) arms outstretched eyes raised to the heavens as the rain washes him clean in The Shawshank Redemption (1994) or Billy Hayes (Brad Davis) leaping in the air unable to contain his joy and excitement in Midnight Express (1978). These images are testament to the power of popular cinema to entertain, move and inspire viewers. This chapter will explore to ways in which prison escapes have been represented in feature films and why this is important not only as entertainment, but also in framing crucial questions regarding imprisonment and society.


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jamie Bennett
    • 1
  1. 1.HMP GrendonAylesburyUK

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